NYC Public Advocate Highlights Healthcare Obstacles For Transgender New Yorkers In New Video

November 23rd, 2021

Press Release

New York City Public Advocate Jumaane D. Williams today released a short-form documentary piece highlighting the obstacles that transgender and gender non-conforming New Yorkers face in accessing quality, gender-affirming health care. The piece, entitled Our Healthcare, features a roundtable discussion between members of the Office of the Public Advocate and a panel of transgender activists– watch it here.

“I’m grateful to everyone who contributed to the dialogue featured in this piece for sharing their stories, and for joining us in the work ahead,” said Public Advocate Jumaane D. Williams about the discussion. “Transgender individuals deserve equitable access to healthcare services, and to be able to receive that treatment without fear of discrimination or the burden of education and explanation of gender issues to to their healthcare providers. These barriers lead to a lack of access to critical care, and on the city, state, and federal level we must do more to confront the inadequacies that stem from implicit bias and explicit lack of training on transgender issues.”

Featured in the video are Bryan Ellicott, Chanel Lopez, Tahtianna Fermin, Grace Detrevarah, Octavia Lewis and Victoria Bell, as well as Kadeem Robinson and Kim Watson-Benjamin from the Office of the Public Advocate, and the Public Advocate himself. Their conversation centers on combating and correcting implicit bias; the need to provide education on these issues for medical professionals; and the importance of defining and providing adequate, trans-affirming healthcare services.

As the video notes, 1 in 3 transgender individuals report having to educate their doctors about basic transgender issues in order to receive appropriate care. About the same proportion of trans individuals who have seen a healthcare provider in the last year report having had at least one negative experience related to being transgender. As a result, 27% of transgender people report having not seen a doctor in the past year for fear of being mistreated.

As part of the conversation, the Public Advocate discussed his legislative package aimed at addressing these inequities on a city level through education and information. The first of two bills, Intro 2119, would require the city to report on training for medical care for transgender and gender non-conforming persons-- including the scope of the training both in content and in number of personnel trained. The second, Intro 2120, would require that signage on transgender patient rights and available services be distributed to and displayed at every hospital in the City.

View and download the full piece here.

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